Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31, 2010

WE would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Let's 2011 is a wonderful, peaceful year for everyone on Earth.

Today is more than just the end of a year, it's the end of and era. Kodak Kodachrome slide film will no longer be processed after today. I always loved the beautiful colors that Kodachrome had, they were natural and a joy to look at. The transition to digital imaging has made Kodachrome a dinosaur but I will miss it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We would like to wish a Merry Christmas to all of of our faithful followers.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Well, it looks like the FUD Masters are about to strike again. MSFT has always been the true master of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. They've used the tactic time after time to defeat other companies. They were able to kill OS2, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect and many, many other worthwhile products by promising that MSFTs new product will be so spectacular that you'll forever rue the day you bought something else.

Everyone is expecting MSFT to announce that they will be producing a version of Windows for ARM tablets "next" year and boy will it be GREAT. All you have to do is NOT buy someone else's lousy product this year.

Yeah, right. I'm sorry folks but I love my Android powered products and I know that MSFT versions will be slower, buggier and crash more ofter. That's their history and I know they'll continue down the same path.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CES 2011

This is a tough time of year. Everyone is on a super-tight schedule with hard deadlines, both for business and in their personal lives.

I'm being deluged by CES appointment requests at the same time I'm trying to get my normal work done (while being short staffed) as well as get ready for Christmas. It's one of those times of the year that I'd like to pick up one of those great 26 hour a day clocks!

This CES looks like it may be a return to the glory years, lots of vendors and lots of new products to report on. I'll make sure I report on everything as soon as I can!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I have become a big fan of standards lately. Over the years we have reviewed dozens of cell phones and always hated the fact that every maker seemed to have a different charger. Our testing lab is littered with strange chargers that no one seems to be able to match up with a device.

In the past month or so we've received 5 new communications devices, you certainly can't call them phones any more, and they all take exactly the same power connectors. There is a miniUSB connector on the device and one end of the connecting cable. The other end of the cable is a standard USB connector. The wall plug is just a 110v to USB power connector. We can use any device with any cable and either the wall plug or a laptop USB port!! Hallelujah!!

We cannot praise ALL of the device makers who've sent us phones lately, Sanyo, HTC and Samsung, for going with a standard.

Now if we can only get camera makers to do the same thing!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Free cell phones!

I received this press release today:

U.S. Cellular, which was recently recognized in a survey by Consumer Reports as the best wireless carrier in the country, is helping holiday shoppers with last-minute gifts by offering every phone for free, including the latest Android-powered smartphones. U.S. Cellular is spreading the joy even further by offering a $100 credit to new customers purchasing a smartphone or existing customers adding a new smartphone line. Customers can stop by any U.S. Cellular store for more details and pick out their free phones while supplies last.
 Shoppers can make this holiday season memorable by giving Android-powered phones like the HTC Desire, LG Optimus U or Samsung Mesmerize (a Galaxy S device), which is the highest-rated smartphone by Consumer Reports. All of U.S. Cellular’s phones, including advanced smartphones like the BlackBerry Bold and Curve, are free after mail-in rebates. All devices are backed by U.S. Cellular’s high-speed nationwide network and the valuable benefits of The Belief Project, which include faster phone upgrades, overage cap, discounts for autopay and paperless billing, and “no contract after the first.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lithium batteries

We just received this information:

Air travelers should expect strict enforcement of regulations on flying with lithium batteries this holiday season, according to the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A;, the leading global association for the imaging industry.  

Loose lithium batteries – primary lithium digital camera batteries, lithium-ion types that power laptop computers, and some AA batteries -- have been prohibited in U.S. checked baggage since January 1, 2008 due to their extreme flammability.  Elsewhere in the world, regulations may be even more stringent.  I3A recommends transporting any spare lithium batteries in carry-on baggage only, for safety's sake and to avoid possible confiscation of items from checked baggage and accompanying delays.  Additional pointers and information can be found on the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Web site,

"Lithium batteries are highly flammable when they are outside the devices they power," said I3A President Lisa Walker.  "Cameras and other personal electronics are best kept with you when traveling, for the safety of the equipment and fellow passengers.  If you’re traveling with a film or single-use camera, be sure you know the regulations and the recommendations for preventing film damage before you make your way through airport security."

Keeping Holiday Memories Safe in Transit
I3A also offers travelers advice on making sure that the precious holiday memories they capture on film, including single-use film cameras, or digital media arrive at home safely after passing through security scanners.  In general, digital media need no special handling, while film should be treated carefully.

These recommendations are the result of joint research I3A's Integrity in Transportation of Imaging Products (ITIP) Committee conducted with the TSA on the X-ray machines and scanners used to inspect checked baggage and carry-on items.  Test specifications and details of the results are available at  

Summary of I3A's Advice:
  • Lithium batteries – safe inside their devices in carry-on bags; spare batteries also safe in carry-ons if activation prevented; NOT allowed in checked baggage
  • Digital cameras/media/camera phones – safe in carry-on or checked baggage
  • DVDs and DVD players – safe in carry-on or checked baggage (but save your work in progress first)
  • Low-speed color film, exposed or unexposed – NOT safe in CHECKED baggage; ask for hand inspection if the film has had five previous trips through scanners, otherwise safe in carry-ons
  • High-speed (greater than ISO 800) color film – NOT safe in EITHER checked or carry-on baggage; ALWAYS ask for hand inspection
  • Black-and-white film, any speed, exposed or unexposed – NOT safe in EITHER checked or carry-on baggage; ALWAYS ask for hand inspection
  • Motion picture film, exposed or unexposed -- NOT safe in EITHER checked or carry-on baggage; ALWAYS ask for hand inspection
  • After holiday trips, preserve digital images for long-term enjoyment of precious memories by following the steps at I3A's educational Web site,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mirror, Mirror

I just received an interesting product to review. It's called the Mirror, Mirror and it's made by the Samigon Division of Argraph.

If you're one of the thousands of people who take their own picture with a digital camera or cell phone then you've taken lots of pictures with the top of your head chopped off. Just look at anyone's Facebook pictures section and you'll see lots of people with their heads cut off.

The Mirror, Mirror is designed to eliminate that problem. It's a small, metal mirror that attaches to your camera or phone and allows you to see what the camera sees. And when I say small, I mean small! It will be pretty much unnoticed on the front of your camera and not too much of a distraction when not in use.

Of course, the first big question is: how does it work? I attached the "mirror" to the front of a compact, point-and-shoot camera much like the ones owners of this product will have. It attached easily and I tried to use it. I could see an image in the mirror but I had a lot of trouble seeing it clearly. I guess my "olde" eyes aren't the ones this mirror is designed to reflect.

The Mirror, Mirror is only $5.99 and may be exactly what a young pair of eyes need to help them take their own picture.

You can buy them at

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Tab

I guess I'm not the only person who loves the Samsung Galaxy Tab (the review will be in our next newsletter issue). I just read that Samsung has already sold 600,000 0f them already!!

If you havn't used one yet, you're missing out on something great!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I've been testing the Samsung Galaxy Tab for the past week or so and it's unbelievable. Tonight I tried it as an eReader and I now have a new favorite reader. It handles PDF files beautifully and makes it a joy to read books, newsletters and anything else.

I love the Galaxy Tab!!